Long Distance 101

You’ve got a new job, you’re moving to be closer to family or you’re simply ready for a change of scenery. Whatever the reason for your cross-country move, here are some pointers to make the transition a little easier.

Don’t Panic, Plan

If you live in Denver, paying reasonable rent price, and have to relocate on a few day’s notices, with a little planning and some careful list-making, it can be accomplished. The key is to begin the process as early as possible, and if you are a chronic procrastinator, find a friend who will nag you to start now.

You probably have two known quantities in this equation; you know where you live now, and you know where you are going to live. Look around your current place and begin with a quick mental list of anything that will go on your “for sure, can’t live without it” list. Inventory all your rooms and begin editing out things you will never use.

A list on paper is more helpful than a list in your notes app because writing helps you retain information, and a physical list can be looked at easily. Create a separate list for each space in your home. You could use different colored mini legal pads for each room and keep the lists in a handy place so you can jot things down as you think of them.

Pack Smart

Be realistic when making your inventory lists. If you are moving from a cold place to a warm climate you don’t need five winter coats and a dozen wool sweaters. Take just what you need and/or love. Things that have sentimental value should not be tossed. Once you have decided what you will be taking, sell or donate everything else. Leave enough time to get rid of the items that are not going with you, particularly if you plan on selling them. It takes some time to arrange sales.

Insurance

Add photos to your newly made inventory lists and you will have comprehensive documentation of all your property. This is the time to connect with your insurance agent to discuss what is covered in your current policy for the move across the country. Discuss the time frame of the move so coverage can be transferred to your new home.

This is important because not all insurance companies are licensed in every state. Find out if all household goods are covered during the move. Most moving companies offer various amounts of insurance, but it’s important to make sure your coverage amounts are adequate.

Inspect your things immediately and if you find damaged goods make sure the movers sign off on a list of the damages BEFORE the moving truck leaves. There are online templates available to catalog your lists and photos for insurance purposes and a cross-country move is a good time to take care of this tedious chore.

Decide How Your Stuff Will Get There

This is a sometimes mildly stress-inducing step for a cross-country move. If your new company provides an all-inclusive moving perk, great, use it. The rest of us must weigh the pros and cons of various moving methods. When money is no object, hire professional movers to pack, move and set up your stuff. If you use a professional moving company make sure you check their record, history, and reviews. Get a contract and read it. The last thing you want is to discover your stuff is being held for additional fees you knew nothing about.

Another method is to pack all your items yourself and have a portable moving container company, like Pods, bring a movable storage unit to you. You fill your allotted space with your possessions and the company retrieves the vessel and trucks it to your new location.

When it arrives you usually have anywhere from a couple of days to a week to unload; they then retrieve their container. If you use this method make sure you load your boxes and furniture carefully as loads shift during transport and you don’t want to discover that you own 34 boxes of damaged household goods and an heirloom dining room table with broken legs.

If you don’t have a lot of stuff to move, consider renting a van or small truck. If you are planning to drive a small truck, make sure you allow extra time; most have governors on the accelerator which prevents you from driving very fast. And route your trip to avoid dangerous roads. Another way to send small amounts of stuff is to ship boxes using the USPS, UPS or FedEx.

Get the Word Out

It is important to let your friends and family know that you are moving.  More than likely you will want to tell your family and friends yourself. Use your personal email list, phone contacts list or address book are easy ways to send quick, informative notes.

For something a little fancier, you can visit one of the many invitation sites that offer cards similar to the engraved cards available in stationery shops, but online so no postage. Notify your credit card companies of the change of residence for billing purposes, and to limit the chance of the lender assuming your card has been stolen.

Check Your New Locale

During the pre-move period, you have probably googled your new town many times. A new home means learning new streets, grocery stores and making new friends. It can be stressful when you realize this adventure comes with a lot of work. Again, making lists will help ease your mind and help you remember each task.

Gas, electric and water companies will need to be notified of the date you will need to begin service. Include Internet, phone and television service on your list. If you have a pool you may need to get information from the seller concerning recent work and perhaps the name of the company used to handle issues that arise.

If you have school-aged children, you will want to have school records forwarded to the new schools; then arrange a time to visit the new school to introduce yourself. Principals usually appreciate meeting the parents of new students.

Check your new location’s ordinances concerning leash laws, parking laws, and even tree pruning laws. Your new neighbors can be a good source of information, like the fastest route to the grocery store or where the best dry cleaner is.

A cross country move is a large undertaking but with a few lists and some patience, it can be the start of a great adventure.

Finding Help with Moving Professionals

We hope you found this blog on Long Distance 101 useful. For more tips, check out this one blog Long Distance Moving Made Simple.

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